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Current and potential system performance on commercial automatic milking farms
- Lyons, N. A., Kerrisk, K. L.
- Animal production science 2017 v.57 no.7 pp. 1550-1556
- cows, farmers, farms, milking
- Dairy farmers considering installing automatic milking systems (AMS) would benefit from adequate contextual information on commercial AMS farm performance. The aim of the present study was to capture key performance indicators related to AMS utilisation on commercial Australian AMS farms on a monthly basis, with the aim of understanding the current and potential system performance. Eight Australian AMS farms were monitored on a monthly basis for a 12-month period. The average number of milking events (milkings/robot.h) was calculated for every hour of the day, on a monthly basis for each of the participating farms. Data exported electronically also allowed the calculation of the number of current and potential extra (both average and maximum) milkings (milkings/robot.day), cows (cows/robot), yield (kg milk/robot.day) and milking time (h/robot.day) for every month on each farm. Despite a wide range in farm performance, the actual milkings (120 milkings/robot.day), cows (51 cows/robot), yield (1263 kg milk/robot.day) and milking time (13.63 h/robot.day) indicated that there is an opportunity to improve these parameters by a maximum of ~60%. To achieve this would require the adoption of a variety of strategies that might be quite farm specific and would be reliant on optimisation of data relating to cow traffic and system utilisation that are relevant to automatic milking systems.